McNeil’s super board scheme would put front line care at risk by harming recruitment

June 21, 2013

(Halifax, N.S.) NDP MLA Gary Ramey says Liberal leader Stephen McNeil’s super board scheme would devastate front line care in Nova Scotia by harming recruitment of health care professionals.

Ramey’s comments came after McNeil criticized the Cape Breton district health authority’s efforts to retain and recruit doctors in an interview with the Chronicle Herald

“McNeil’s scheme would make it much harder to recruit doctors, just like when the last Liberal government in Nova Scotia created chaos with a centralized super board approach. Today people only have to look at the situation in Alberta where doctors are leaving because of the effects of the super board there,” said Ramey. 

Ramey says that McNeil is wrong to argue that having just one Halifax-centered health authority will mean better care. This week a nurses union in Alberta spoke out to report that at least 200 registered nursing positions have been eliminated since the start of May, a situation they say is “adding up to a serious problem.”

“The implementation of a super board in Alberta has created an emergency room crisis. Patients are calling 911 from inside ERs, doctors are leaving, health care workers are being laid off and in the end it hasn’t saved Albertans’ a dime,” said Ramey.

Since introducing the super bureaucracy Alberta has seen an $80 million increase in administration spending. Ramey says Nova Scotians are far better off finding ways to reduce administration by sticking with the NDP plan for better care sooner.

“The Nova Scotia NDP has the best record in Canada for reducing health administration spending over the last four years. Not only that, we’re reducing emergency rooms closures and giving Nova Scotians access to the care they need when and where they need it,” said Ramey.

Ramey says the Liberals dismal record on health care including their decision to close 1,600 hospital beds and pay nurses to leave their profession should sound a warning bell for Nova Scotians. 

“We can’t risk turning back to the failed record of past Liberal governments just when we’re starting to turn things around in our health care system. We need to keep moving forward with our plan.”